Musical performances, interactive exhibits and panel discussions will be featured Oct. 2 in the IdeasCityWS Marketplace of Ideas festival in downtown Winston-Salem as Wake Forest University, New Museum and dozens of local community partners celebrate the culmination of a year of creative collaborations.
The festival, which is free and open to the public, will be from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. in Bailey Park at 445 Patterson Ave. in the Innovation Quarter.
“We’ve worked with local organizations to make this happen,” said Donovan Livingston, assistant dean of the Office of University Collaborations at Wake Forest University. “We wanted to really tap into the creative entrepreneurial ecosystem that already exists in Winston to highlight the beauty of what’s already here, to highlight folks who are already doing work in the art, design, tech space that solve community needs, to really amplify the work they do and to inspire new collaborations among our artists in the city.”
Karen Wong, a Winston-Salem native and former deputy director of New Museum who was instrumental in planning the festival, said in a news release that it has been gratifying for New Museum to be in partnership with Wake Forest.
“We’ve been introduced to and collaborated with local partners who are leading the way on how Winston-Salem can lean into its entrepreneurial community and support a growing creative economy,” Wong said. “Winston-Salem’s IdeasCityWS festival will be a day to share the homegrown talent, the innovation and create a space for civic joy.”
New Museum started its IdeasCity program that “views intersections among art, culture, design and technology as essential to the future vitality of cities” in 2011. The museum has held festivals in cities around the world, including Athens, Greece; Sao Paulo, Brazil; Singapore; New York and New Orleans. Winston-Salem became a host city in 2020.
Wake Forest said that IdeasCityWS partners have held a variety of events over the past year “to explore creative approaches to improve health and well-being, economic development and justice and equity for members of the Winston-Salem community,” including virtual “Beta Bonfires” amid the COVID-19 pandemic. These virtual events paired New Museum’s NEW INC incubator partners with Winston-Salem creatives to explore artistic and entrepreneurial solutions to current issues.
The marketplace of IdeasCityWS Marketplace of Ideas festival is described as “‘an outdoor living room’ with interactive exhibits from two dozen local creative organizations representing progressive contributions in art, tech, design and culture.’”
Artists, entrepreneurs, designers, and inventors will display their working ideas from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Exhibitors include Winston-Salem MIXXER, a community makerspace; “Delicious by Shereen,” a catering company; The Feeling Company, a business-to-business consumer product company; Wake Forest Center for Entrepreneurship; Sawtooth School for Visual Art; Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County; and Winston-Salem State University’s Center for the Study of Economic Mobility.
Livingston said that Movers and Shakers, a creative activist collective, based in New York, that does augmented reality organization, and is an alum of New Museum’s NEW INC creative incubator, will also be an exhibitor.
“Movers and Shakers created an app that houses monuments to historical figures that aren’t typically talked about in schools ... Folks from different racial ethnic backgrounds who don’t often have physical monuments dedicated in their memory,” Livingston said. “They (Movers and Shakers) really worked to challenge the notion of public memory and how we capture stories of social actors and activists who contributed to the fabric of a democratic society.”
He added that Movers and Shakers has created three augmented reality monuments to Winston-Salem/Triad icons that will be unveiled in the app on Oct. 2.
“It should be really cool,” Livingston said.
Panel discussions will start at 11 a.m. and be held throughout the afternoon. They include ICWS Music Panel, featuring local musicians and music curators from Winston-Salem and moderated by singer/word songwriter Martha Bassett and Livingston, and a mayor’s panel, in which four entrepreneurs that combine arts and technology in ways aimed at enhancing urban living, will bring their stories of creative cultural change.
The festival will wrap up with performances from local musicians. Jeffrey Dean Foster and Cashavelly Morrison will provide music from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Laurelyn Dossett and Molly McGinn, Big Ron Hunter and Donovan Livingston will perform from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., and a live performance from “The Martha Bassett Show” with Sonny Miles, Early Gray and Reliably Bad will be from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Livingston said that it is an honor for Winston-Salem to be listed among the other cities that have been the hosts of IdeasCity events in the past.
“We think this is an opportunity to galvanize our creative entrepreneurs to spark new opportunities, to collaborate and continue building together in a post pandemic Winston-Salem,” Livingston said.